Command to append line to a text file without opening an editor


Fast editing examples using cat, ed, and sed

Michael Stutz
Published on January 16, 2007

Most UNIX® developers settle on Emacs, vi, or one of the many variants, offshoots, and clones of these two text-editing applications. Files are normally opened in the editor of choice, and changes are interactively specified and applied to the file by the operator.

But you can often do an editing job at the command line more quickly than it takes to open the file in a text editor. A complex editing procedure can be programmed and specified from the command line and executed across multiple files, eliminating all unnecessary screen display, cursor motion, and manual interaction with the files. A good tactic is to keep a cache of relevant one-liners on hand to do common editing jobs. Not only do they save you time, especially in batch operations involving multiple files, but you can also use them in scripts.

One-liners for editing...

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This is a very typical case, the need to create a temp file on the command line quickly. Opening editor, writing content, save file and quit editor is not the fastest possible way. A faster way is to use the cat command with the name of the file and write contents of the file and give the end-of-file character (Ctrl-D).

This is guide, howto create (or append to) text file without text editor on Linux shell / command line.

Create Text File Without Text Editor on Command Line

# Create file $ cat > /tmp/temp_file_name.txt some content more content and even more content # View file content $ cat /tmp/temp_file_name.txt some content more content and even more content

Append to Temporary File Without Editor on Command Line

# Append to file $ cat >> /tmp/temp_file_name.txt append content append more content append even more content # View file content $ cat /tmp/temp_file_name.txt some content more content and even more content append content append more...
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SED can append a line to the end of a file like so:

sed -i '$ a text to be inserted' fileName.file
$ selects end of file, the a tells it to append, and after this comes the text that is to be inserted. Then of course the file name.



Does this approach have any added benefit than other solutions?
Yes, this approach has the added benefit of appending to any files return in a search, such as this: find . -name "*.html" -exec sed -i '$ a ' {} \;

I used the above example to insert the ending html tag that was missing on every html page within a number of...

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This is the second article of the

"Super sed' Series"

, in which we will learn how to append and insert lines to a file using line numbers and regular expressions. In the previous article in the series, we learned to

print lines in a file using sed command


Before we directly jump to the main content, every learner should know what


is. Here is the brief introduction of the Super



sed stand for Stream EDitor and it being based on the ed editor, it borrows most of the commands from the ed. It was developed by Lee E. McMahon of Bell Labs. sed offers large range of text transformations that include printing lines, deleting lines, editing line in-place, search and replace, appending and inserting lines, etc. sed is useful whenever you need to perform common editing operations on multiple lines without using 'vi' editor. Whenever sed is executed on an input file or on the contents from stdin, sed reads the file line-by-line and after...
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The vi editor is a command-line, interactive editor that you can use to create and modify text files. The vi editor is also the only text editor that you can use to edit certain system files without changing the permissions of the files. The Vim editor is an enhanced version of the vi editor.

Accessing the vi Editor

To create, edit, and view files in the vi editor, use the vi command. The vi command includes the following three syntaxes:

$ vi $ vi filename $ vi options filename

If the system crashes while you are editing a file, you can use the -r option to recover the file.

The file opens so that you can edit it. You can then save the file and exit the vi editor, by using the following command:

The file opens in read-only mode to prevent accidental overwriting of the contents of the file.

The vi Editor Modes

The vi editor provides three modes of operation:
1. Command mode – The command mode is the default mode for the vi...

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This tutorial has been written for both vi and vim. It starts with real basics, such as cursor navigation and ends with more advanced techniques like merging files.

For every section of this tutorial there is a short video with hints to help you understand how vim / vi works. Even that I have divided this tutorial into parts from novice to the expert user, there is plenty more what vim can do to make your work with vim editor easier and more efficient.

However completing this tutorial you will give sufficient knowledge about vim / vi and its features for your daily tasks.

Moving cursor around

In vim you can move cursor around with following keys h, l, k, j which is left, right, up and down respectively.

You can move cursor around also with arrow keys, however this is possible only if they are available.

Vim was designed for all kinds of terminals where arrow keys may not be available for you. Moreover, once you get used to using...

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What is the command line?

There are two methods to using the command line with Text to Excel Wizard:

Specifying a Conversion Job (TXL file) Specifying a traditional command line

Specifying a Conversion Job File

The command line is extremely simple with 'Text to Excel Wizard'. In fact you need only to use the user interface to set up exactly what you would like done, go to the File menu and save a 'Conversion Job' file. A 'Conversion Job' file is saved with the *.TXL file extension. This file extension will be recognized by your operating system as a 'Text to Excel Wizard' file. So simply double clicking the ConversionJob.TXL file from Windows Explorer, or specifying it within the Windows Task Scheduler is really all you need to do. The TXL file is a simple text file that can be easily understood and modified within any text editor. See the TXL...

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Using the Text Editors

Linux distributions include a number of applications known as text editors that you can use to create text files or edit system configuration files. Text editors are similar to word processing programs, but generally have fewer features, work only with text files, and might or might not support spell checking or formatting. Text editors range in features and ease of use and are found on nearly every Linux distribution. The number of editors installed on your system depends on what software packages you've installed on the system.

Some of the more popular console-based text editors include:

emacs—The comprehensive GNU emacs editing environment, which is much more than an editor; see the section "Working with emacs" later in this chapter. joe—Joe's Own Editor, a text editor, which can be used to emulate other editors. nano—A simple text editor similar to the pico text editor included with the pine email program. ...
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Windows Command-line tools are great for troubleshooting, as well as automation. If you’re stumped when a tech support guy on the phone asks you to run a built-in console command and copy the output displayed for diagnosing a problem, these Command Prompt basics would come in handy.

Table of Contents

Opening a Command Prompt window

To open a Command Prompt window, press WinKey + R to launch the Run dialog. Type in cmd.exe and press ENTER. In Windows 8.1 and higher, you can right-click Start and click Command Prompt. There are several other ways to open Command Prompt.

If the console tool you’re running or the operation you’re performing requires administrative privileges, you need to open Command Prompt as administrator (also known as “elevated Command Prompt”.)

Copying the output to clipboard

In the Command Prompt window, type in the command you want to run. For example, someone who’s helping you wants to know your system...

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Command Line Switches

A collection of

and arguments to control some program executables

On this page I will collect command line switches for some program executables.
This will make it easier to create reliable "quick-and-dirty" batch files to perform common tasks like printing, file conversion, etcetera without the need to dig into the program's COM object details.

Most programs open a file if its full path is specified on the command line without any switches.
Most files' "Open", "Print" and "PrintTo" commands can be found in the registry under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, or by examining file associations, the others may require some web searching, or even reading software manuals.

Command line switches for:

Microsoft Access

Open a Microsoft Access database:

msaccess.exe Database

Open an Access database for exclusive access:

msaccess.exe Database /excl

Open an Access database for read-only...

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When most people think of the old DOS command prompt window – that archaic, lingering vestige of computer days gone by – they think of those simple commands that nearly everyone learned if they had to use a computer during those early days.

Folks learned how to see a directory content with DIR or how to navigate from one directory to the next with CD. Not all commands were very intuitive, and of course before long we had that wonderful graphical user interface of Windows 3.1 (still my all-time favorite) and beyond.

One would thing that with the advent of the graphical user interface, there would be no need for using any sort of command-line activities – yet the CMD tool lingers on from one generation of Windows to the next.

The commands haven’t always stayed the same, in fact some have been trashed while other newer commands came along, even with Windows 7 in fact. So, why would anyone want to bother clicking the start button and typing...

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